We will not budge and we will not be provoked

China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, has threatened a strong response if Tsai meets Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy in the US. Beijing views the pause as a provocation, saying the meeting between McCarthy and Tsai would “destroy peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

Before leaving, Tsai said she did not mind this “external pressure”. “We are calm and confident, we will not budge or be provoked. Taiwan takes steps on the path of freedom and democracy and goes out into the world. This path is difficult, but Taiwan is not alone,” the president said.

People gather with the Taiwanese and American flags outside the New York Hotel to show support for President Tsai.Reuters photo

Tsai will stay in New York for a few days and will stop in Los Angeles on the way back. She is expected to meet McCarthy in California, but nothing has been confirmed by either country.

Meanwhile, the White House urges China not to use the “normal” pause as an excuse to escalate aggression against Taiwan. “We realize things are tense at the moment,” said spokesman John Kirby, urging Beijing to keep lines of communication open.

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Denton Watson

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